Unlike most TV shows, which record their episodes well in advance, WWE has the advantage of being able to change course on a weekly basis, depending on factors like injuries, audience reactions, or, in some cases, an inability to put together a coherent storyline. As a result, over the years, a great many feuds and storylines in WWE have been dropped completely without warning, with everyone involved moving on to other things, and no mention ever being made of their existence. Well, except by disgruntled wrestling fans who might have wanted to know how things were supposed to pan out, of course. Here are some of the most egregious examples of WWE suddenly deciding to drop a storyline, many for no reason that was ever revealed.
10. “I Still Remember”
This one came and went so fast we’d be surprised if anyone remembers it happening at all. Frankly, we can’t believe it ourselves, but at any rate, in the midst of the mess that was WWE in 2003, Booker T was in the locker room talking to new Superstar Jon Heidenreich (who we’ll get to, don’t worry), when he discovered a mysterious note that simply said “I Still Remember”. Speculation immediately started on who might be attempting to get Booker T’s attention, with the majority generally feeling that it was going to end up being Booker’s former tag team partner, Goldust, because when you think of wrestlers who have spent their careers stalking people in disturbing ways, Goldust generally jumps to the top of the list. Unfortunately, the perpetrator was never revealed, and in fact, the note was never mentioned again, and Booker T immediately moved on to other pursuits.
9. Little Johnny
All right, so let’s talk about Heidenreich. For those who only remember him as a creepy guy who writes poetry or a new member of the Legion of Doom, you might be surprised to learn that Heidenreich originally debuted on Raw as a slightly off-kilter, disturbingly intense fan who managed to talk his way into the good graces of Raw co-GM Steve Austin and somehow earned a contract out of it. In his conversations with other people at the time, Heidenreich would talk about “Little Johnny”, who was apparently both a huge fan and the inspiration behind Heidenreich’s desire to become a pro wrestler. This, of course, set of speculation about who “Little Johnny” was, and since it was the internet, most of that speculation reovlved around the idea that “Little Johnny” was, in fact, Heidenreich’s penis. Obviously that wasn’t the case (well, probably not), but we never actually found out who “Little Johnny” really was, because Heidenreich was quickly pulled off TV, later debuting on Smackdown as Paul Heyman’s new protege (after a rumored idea to make him a Nazi from World War II who had been cryogenically frozen was thankfully scrapped).
8. Raven’s Masterpiece
Raven’s time in WWE during the early 2000’s was often contentious, with the popular urban legend being that at one point, Vince McMahon walked into the locker room and asked “Who the f*** hired Raven?” Which, if true, probably wouldn’t give you great hopes about having a successful career there. But Raven often gets credit for being one of the smartest people in wrestling, and he saw an opportunity to get his character over outside the direct oversight of WWE’s creative team. To start, he lost a match that forced him to stop appearing on Raw, then went about enacting a plan to make himself the biggest star of WWE’s weekly syndicated show, Sunday Night Heat, which almost nobody paid attention to anyway. Then, in a storyline inspired by the movie Se7en, Raven announced plans to create his “masterpiece”, which involved the Seven Deadly Sins in some way, and included getting a random guy to eat a sandwich off Raven’s foot. We don’t know for sure what the ultimate plan was, because after a couple weeks, the entire thing was dropped. Eventually, Raven was brought back to Raw, lost a Royal Rumble qualifying match, and was fired immediately afterwards.
7. Kevin Nash Screws CM Punk
This angle is how WWE completely screwed up the “Summer of Punk” after CM Punk won the WWE Title at Money in the Bank and became the biggest star in the promotion as a result. After beating John Cena, again, at SummerSlam to unite the actual and temporary WWE Titles, Punk was attacked out of nowhere by…the aging, mostly immobile, and semi-retired Kevin Nash, resulting in Punk losing the title when Alberto Del Rio cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Rather than try to get his title back, Punk tried to get his hands on Nash, while John Cena somehow ended up feuding with Del Rio for the title. For those who wonder why Punk felt his character was badly mismanaged in WWE, this is one of the biggest reasons. Things continued to go badly for Punk when it was revealed that Nash had a health condition that prevented him from being cleared to wrestle, and then everything went straight down the toilet as his feud with Nash was transitioned to Triple H instead, leaving Punk completely adrift, never actually getting his revenge on the man who cost him the title in the first place. WWE would come to their senses eventually, and put the WWE Title back on Punk at Survivor Series, but the damage was already done.
6. The Two Man Power Trip
So, Steve Austin turned heel at WrestleMania X-7, despite it not being a particularly good idea, and then partnered up with Triple H, even though the smart money probably would have been to have them feud through the summer in reversed roles from their earlier confrontations, with a heel Austin taking on the face Triple H. Instead, the Two Man Power Trip ran rampant over the top faces of WWE (which, at that point, mostly consisted of The Undertaker and Kane), holding the WWE, Intercontinental, and Tag Team titles all at the same time. At that point, tensions arose between Austin and Triple H, as Triple H lost the Intercontinental title to Kane, then the team lost the Tag Team titles to the combined might of Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. It seemed like we might actually get that Austin-Triple H feud we’d been expecting, but during the match against Jericho and Benoit, Triple H massively tore his quadriceps muscle, and was sidelined for the rest of the year. When he returned as a face, Austin had also turned back to his crowd-pleasing ways, and there was no reason for them to feud.
5. Vince McMahon Crushed By Stage
In case you’d forgotten (heaven knows we’ve tried), there was a point in WWE’s desperation to attract casual fans and tap into the mainstream audience that they actually started giving away money during Raw. And not just money, but a million dollars, divided into several smaller amounts (including one massive prize and one booby prize), handed out to random fans by Vince McMahon, who would actually call people during live broadcasts of Raw to tell them that they had won. If you can’t see how this could possibly go badly, there’s a job awaiting you in Stamford. Anyway, the entire thing was a disaster (well, maybe not for the people who actually got money), it was horrible to watch, and had no positive effect on the ratings at all, so WWE abruptly decided to end it. But rather than just announce the end of “McMahon’s Millions”, they literally had the stage where Vince was running the contest suddenly collapse, with a massive sign falling on top of him. Raw went off the air with medical personnel attempting to free the downed Vince from the destroyed set, and everyone assumed this was the start of a new storyline. We were incorrect, as the incident, and the contest, were simply never mentioned again.
4. The Nexus Buries The Undertaker
Okay, so the Nexus angle was pretty much bungled from top to bottom after an incredibly hot start (if it seems like WWE has a trend of doing that with their hot summer angles on regular basis, that’s because they do), and we could probably find a dozen different parts of that storyline which were dropped or changed suddenly, and in fact, the entire faction just kind of disappeared into the ether once CM Punk abandoned them. However, one of the more egregiously dropped angles involving the Nexus came when they interfered in a Buried Alive match between Kane and The Undertaker at the Bragging Rights PPV in 2010, helping Kane to defeat his brother and burying The Undertaker alive. The next night on Raw, Wade Barrett informed everyone that their unprovoked attack on The Undertaker was part of some larger plan, and everyone began to speculate that Barrett might be getting set up as The Undertaker’s opponent for WrestleMania, or something of that ilk. Instead, Barrett was turfed out of the Nexus by CM Punk before the end of the year, Triple H faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania, and the whole thing was forgotten about, much like almost everything the Nexus did during their brief existence.
3. The Anonymous Raw GM
Don’t you tell us that WWE revealed the Anonymous Raw GM to be Hornswoggle, because that was a joke reveal that took place months after everyone had stopped caring and was basically done as a “screw you” to anyone who had hoped that the angle would actually have a resolution back when it mattered. For months (and months, and months), a laptop and an AOL sound effect basically held sway over Raw, and after initially teasing several possibilities for who it might be, WWE basically stopped bothering, and just had Michael Cole become the hated mouthpiece for a computer. After a while, it became clear that WWE actually had no real idea who the Anonymous Raw GM was supposed to end up being, and no plans to reveal their identity, but were fine with just leaving a faceless laptop in charge of their flagship show. Finally, when Triple H (and, eventually, John Laurinaitus, who actually had less personality than the computer) took direct control of Raw from Vince McMahon in the aftermath of Money in the Bank 2011 (when CM Punk won the WWE Title and left the company, and Vince attempted to fire John Cena for failing to prevent it), the Anonymous Raw GM disappeared, making all the speculation officially moot.
2. Fake Kane
When WWE decided they wanted to make their own feature films, one of the first ideas they came up with was a horror movie starring Kane (admittedly, that’s a pretty obvious one). To promote the film, Kane started carrying around a massive hook used by his character in the movie, and also, mysteriously, the Titantron began flashing strange images while a voice repeated the words “May 19th” while he was having matches. That date was also the release date of the film, but WWE also used it as part of a storyline. On May 19th, during an episode of Raw, Kane was accosted by…himself. Or someone dressed up as Kane as he’d look at his debut in 1997, anyway. This “Fake Kane” continued stalking the real deal, culminating in a PPV match that could be generously described as “terrible.” Shortly afterwards, Kane attacked the imposter, stole his mask, and threw him out of the arena, never to be seen again, as WWE apparently decided to drop the whole thing following the PPV disaster. Don’t weep for Fake Kane, however, as he would get several more chances in WWE, and these days, he’s better known as Club member Luke Gallows.
1. Vince Dies In A Limo Explosion
It was Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night (as well as the evening of the annual WWE Draft, which is often forgotten) one lazy Monday in 2007, and things had not gone well for the Chairman, as he was subjected to insults, ridicule, and humiliation all night long. At the end of a very long evening, a bedraggled Vince McMahon dragged himself past a line of silent Superstars, got into his limousine, and then…the limo exploded in an orgy of fire and shrapnel. This was to be the start of WWE’s big summer storyline (hey, look at that), with everyone trying to figure out who killed Vince, who would eventually reveal that he had faked his death in order to find out who actually cared about him. Or something. It was never made clear was Vince’s actual plan was, because a week later, the storyline had to be dropped, immediately, for a very good reason. On that night, it was discovered that Chris Benoit had killed his wife and son, then himself, and in a shocking display of good sense, WWE decided that running a storyline involving the death of Vince McMahon would be in incredibly bad taste. Instead, several weeks later, they rebooted the storyline (complete with a similar setup of a dejected Vince getting into a limo) where it was revealed that Vince had an illegitimate child, who eventually turned out to be Hornswoggle, the midget leprechaun.